Charter schools’ autonomy and flexibility provide them with the opportunity to find ways to close the performance gap between students with and without disabilities, but deep-seated, systemic challenges often cause individual charters to struggle to do so on their own. For cities with an established charter sector, we propose a city-wide, collaborative strategy involving all stakeholders to overcome these systemic challenges. By working together, charter schools can fulfill their potential with regard to educating students with disabilities. In the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, identifying effective strategies to accelerate learning for students with disabilities and optimize the flexibility extended to charter schools is essential.
This brief, written as part of a collaboration with Pathways 2 Tomorrow, introduces what we propose are critical components of a strategic, city-based framework, along with details regarding how this multi-pronged approach can drive systemic and sustainable change that will lead to better access and outcomes for students with disabilities. Each component has value independently, but when combined in a coherent manner so that each augments the others, the framework has the potential to ensure that students with disabilities have access to a robust continuum of educational
opportunities in districts that have widespread public school choice and, in particular, charter schools.
Infographic: A Strategic City-Based Framework for Effectively and Efficiently Educating Students with Disabilities
This infographic summarizes the key recommendations presented in our full report.